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Discover Downtown busy all day Saturday


Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch

Food from the various food trucks at Havre's Discover Downtown event is held by guests at the event as they ate from the different trucks that were competing to be the best food truck there.

Discover Downtown filled the 300 Block of Third Avenue Saturday with people eating, listening to music and shopping at various vendors.

The event, hosted by Havre Historic Properties and Montana Country Boutique, had nearly twice as many people attending as in its first year in 2016, said Erica Farmer of Havre Historic Properties.

"It's been great, it's been a wonderful turnout and we couldn't be more pleased with the support from the community," Farmer said. "We are very pleased with the turnout and it's wonderful to see so many members of the community come and support this event. I think the message is we should do this again."

She said if co-organizer Tera Verploegen of Montana Country Boutique agrees, she wants to hold it again next year. Farmer added that Verploegen does a lot of the work to help organize the event.

Verploegen said this is her second year helping host the event and she was very pleased with the turnout. She said that it had been steadily busy all day and the food trucks were backed up since they opened at 11 a.m.

A fun run was held in 2017 instead of Discover Downtown, but Verploegen and Farmer brought the downtown event back this year.

Verploegen added that they began planning the event back in April and it only takes a couple months to organize. She said five food trucks were at Saturday's event, which also included a kettle corn truck, and 25 vendor booths in addition to the Havre Girls Fastpitch Association having a face-painting booth for donations.

The vendors are from various locations around Montana, Verploegen said, such as Billings and Great Falls as well as Havre; with all of them being either home-based businesses or crafters from the area.

"I just like bringing stuff into the community. ... Havre has a lot to offer and people just kind of forget, by doing this it gets people out and about," Verploegen said.

Farmer said the idea was to provide a family-friendly environment with live music, food trucks and vendor tents open for the community's enjoyment,

Verploegen said the band performing, Shovels and Shotguns, was great and it looked like a lot of people were having fun. She added that it was a good time of year for the event.

Anita Dodson-Bangen from Great Falls is a sales representative for Diplicious, a direct sales dip mix company. She said the event was fun and she was glad to be involved. She added that Havre was nice for a small town and she wouldn't mind doing the event again in the future.

Lanette Brown, a sales representative for Pampered Chef out of Great Falls, said that this is her first year participating in this event and she liked it a lot. She added that it was steady all day but very busy and she is looking forward to being back in Havre next year for the event.

31 Gifts sales representative Cassie Albertson, based out of Havre, said that she was having a lot of fun at the event. She has been involved with 31 Gifts, a direct sales company, for more than three years and was at the 2016 event. She added that the event had a huge crowd and she wouldn't mind coming back next year.

The Havre Ice Cream Truck was also set up at the event. The truck is run by Havreite Kendall Holden, 18, who has worked the ice cream truck for three summers. This was his first year participating in the Discover Downtown event.

His mother, Christy Holden, said the truck can often be seen passing through neighborhoods and at summer events, such as baseball games. Kendall Holden has gotten into the ice cream business because the opportunity came up and that he wanted to start his own business, she said.

She added that they were very pleased with the turnout and that her son would be interested in being involved in the future.

The family also owns Holden's Hot Wheels on First Street.

People from Kalispell and Geat Falls and other locations were at Discover Downtown along with local residents.

Shannon Chambliss of Havre was at the event with friends and family who had come to Havre from Kalispell. She said that this was her first year at the event and that it was a "great environment." She said there were long lines for the food trucks and that it has been very busy all day. She added that she would like to come again next year and it was a lot of fun being able to attend the event.

"Havre has it," Chambliss said.

Rickki Ritterbach of Chinook was at the event with friends and family as well. She said that they were enjoying the event and that they really enjoyed the food trucks. She added that they had eaten at the Streatery as well as another truck; ordering ribs, chicken wings, a manwich and a grilled cheese sandwich. She said the food was very good and that she hopes that the event will continue next year.


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